Direct payments for family members

According to the Care Act, and the accompanying Guidance, there should be a Needs Assessment, the cost of that care should be calculated to arrive at a Personal Budget. There should then be DISCUSSION between Social Services, the caree, and the carer, about how that budget should be spent. The caree should be able to choose who should care for them, when and where.

In theory, EVERYONE is entitled to a Personal Budget, if they cannot manage it themselves, then the council should arrange for someone else to manage the DP’s on their behalf. Councils are failing to consult properly, and making decisions based on what is easiest for them or a care provider.

I know someone who adopted a daughter with very special needs, at times she needs to have two people with her whenever she goes out. The council cannot find anyone to care for her, will not allow her parents to be paid for the care they provide. Thousands of pounds have been returned to the council, unspent, when the parents are caring 24/7.

So much praise is being heaped on paid carers, but it seems that unpaid carers have been forgotten about, although their care load has increased significantly.

My son has severe learning difficulties, but the same probably applies to dementia sufferers and their carers too.
How can Carers UK help?

Hi BB, long time no see.

Paying DP’s to family members is allowed in ‘exceptional circumstances’. However, it has been some time since I looked at this issue so don’t know if any information has been put together to explain what those circumstances would be. Last time I looked, which was several years ago, it was always decided by SS panel of each council on an individual basis. I will look again later when I have more time.

Hope you are well


The term “exceptional circumstances” was in the original DP legislation, but was done away with in the 2014 Care Act. It was used to describe family members in the “same household” but that never applied to me and M, as he had his own flat. He wanted to come home to work with our steam engines especially, there is no room for a 10 ton steam roller at his flat, no secure building either!!! Quite apart from that, none of his staff would have a clue what to do with it!!

The Care Plan is supposed to talk about things that are important to him, but completely ignores the steam roller, traction engine, or any of our other steam engines. It also ignores his garden tractor, which looks like new but he’s owned it for 25 years. This plan was written not by Social Services, but by the care provider.